BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger
The barbecue bacon cheeseburger is usually a guilty pleasure. Here, I’ve combined these favorite flavors in a reasonable-sized burger that’s even more scrumptious because the ingredients are fresh and guilt free. Please, though, don’t cheat when buying the beef. Some people think that buying 93% lean ground beef isn’t that much different from the 96% lean, but it is. Four ounces of the 96% lean has about 150 calories and 4-1/2 grams of fat. Four ounces of the 93% lean has 170 calories and 8 grams of fat. Yes, the 96% lean is more expensive, but you’re worth it (plus, in the long term, you’ll be saving money on doctor bills)!
4 ounces 96% lean ground beef
pinch of salt
1-1/2 slices center-cut bacon
1 whole wheat hamburger bun
1/2 ounces light Swiss cheese
1 to 2 red onion slivers
2 natural barbecue sauce
Pack the beef tightly together with your hands, and then shape it into a 4-inch-diameter patty on a sheet of wax paper. Sprinkle lightly with salt on both sides, and then place in the freezer for 5 minutes (to help the patty keep its shape).
Preheat a grill to high.
Cut the whole bacon strip in half crosswise. Lay the 3 half strips side by side in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook, ﬂipping them every couple of minutes, until crispy and well done, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate to drain.
Meanwhile, remove the patty from the freezer and place it on the grill. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side for medium rare, or until the desired doneness is reached. Toast the bun halves on an upper grill rack for 30 seconds to 1 minute, watching them carefully. Place the cheese on top of the burger for the last few seconds of cooking so it just begins to melt.
Add the patty to the toasted bun bottom. Lay the bacon strips side by side over the top. Place the onion over that. Spread the barbecue sauce evenly over the inside of the top half of the bun. Place the bun top atop the sandwich. Serve immediately.
Can be made in 30 minutes or less / No more than 20 minutes hands-on prep time
MAKES 1 BURGER; 1 SERVING
Each serving (1 burger) has: 334 calories, 33 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 11 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 75 mg cholesterol, 3 g ﬁber, 767 mg sodium
You save: 180 calories, 22 g fat, 8 g saturated fat
Traditional serving: 484 calories, 29 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 32 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 99 mg cholesterol, 1 g ﬁber, 712 mg sodium